As fans of Channel 4’s hit reality TV show Big Fat Gypsy Weddings may be aware, TV watchdog Ofcom announced some months ago that it was investigating complaints that the show’s makers had “stereotyped” gypsies and therefore caused offence to the Traveller community.
The row was further fuelled when posters and hoardings appeared for a new series of the show which bore the tagline, “Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier.”
The Mirror states of the investigation, “Channel 4 has been accused of showing traveller men as ‘feckless and violent’ and children as ¬‘foul-mouthed and uneducated’.”
The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain – who lodged complaints – also claims that the sexual assault of women featured in the show in the form of “grabbing” was portrayed as being normal behavior among gypsies… Read more & comment »
It’s been reported today that ITV have been forced to edit a scene in classic seventies film Death on the Nile after Ofcom received, and upheld, ONE complaint.
The complaint came from a viewer who said that as the film was recently broadcast by ITV before the 9pm watershed, a scene which depicted one of the drama’s characters, Jackie de Bellefort – who was played by actress Mia Farrow – committing suicide, the footage was too grisly for children to watch.
The film, which stars Peter Ustinov as Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, was shown at 3.30pm on Saturday March 17, and the suicide scene shows the character putting a revolver to her had and shooting herself, causing blood to trickle from the wound.
Yesterday, Ofcom responded to the complaint, saying, “Her suicide was shown in some detail and was not, in our opinion, appropriately limited… Read more & comment »
Media watchdog Ofcom is set to investigate after Richard Pallot, an ITV News reporter, used the word “coloured” while, ironically, reporting on racism in sport.
Pallot made his gaffe while reporting from Downing Street during the summit there last month, which paid particular attention to issues of racism in football.
The Guardian reports that Ofcom decided to investigate whether the use of the word breached industry guidelines on acceptable standards of reporting and if, therefore, the word would or could cause offence to viewers.
Soon after the faux pas – which was pre-recorded for broadcast during a lunchtime news report – and ITV spokesperson said, “ITV News apologises for the inappropriate use of the word ‘coloured’ in a report on racism and football in today’s news at 1.30pm.
“We take this error very seriously and we regret any offence caused…” Read more & comment »
TV watchdog Ofcom has been investigating complaints from viewers over remarks made by both Jeremy Clarkson and Matthew Wright.
In Clarkson’s case, Ofcom launched an inquiry after he appeared on BBC’s The One Show and said striking public sector workers “should be shot.”
They also responded to complaints from viewers over an edition of Matthew Wright’s Channel 5 talk show, The Wright Stuff, in which Wright and his guests joked about the murder of a teenaged boy in Scotland.
31,700 complaints were received by Ofcom about Clarkson’s remarks, while 2,358 people complained about Wright’s comments.
Of Clarkson’s comments, Ofcom said that while his remark was “potentially offensive”, it was “justified by the context.”
The watchdog added that Clarkson’s “well-established public persona” would indicate that, “his comments were not an expression of seriously held beliefs”.
However, of Wright, who made what Ofcom branded as “insulting and insensitive” remarks about the murder of 16 year old Liam Aitchison, the watchdog further ruled that the subject had been handled in a “highly inappropriate manner” and in a “thoughtless fashion.” Read more & comment »
TV watchdog Ofcom have been called in by furious viewers to investigate a ‘joke’ made by comedian David Walliams when he made a guest appearance on Chris Moyle’s Quiz Night.
David – who is still recovering after swimming the length of the River Thames for charity – reportedly outraged fans of Chris’s show when he made a “crude joke” about former X Factor finalist Harry Styles, who is a member of boy band, One Direction.
David apparently said of Harry, “I’d like to suck his ****.”
Viewers who described his comment as “disgusting” immediately complained to Channel 4 – who host Chris’s show – and to Ofcom.
According to Metro, A Channel 4 representative said of the incident, “The show was appropriately scheduled post-watershed at 10pm and viewers were warned of strong language and adult humour.” Read more & comment »
TV watchdog Ofcom has ruled that This Morning breached the broadcasting code regarding advertising when Amanda Holden – who is of course a judge on Britain’s Got Talent – was a guest on the show.
Amanda, who appeared earlier this year to talk about her role in Shrek the Musical, reportedly “used the opportunity” of being on the ITV show to plug a legal group.
The Sun reports that Amanda said, “I’m part of this new campaign I wanted to talk about…”
She then told how the group in question works.
The paper adds, “Products and services cannot be promoted on TV programmes. If product placement is used, a warning must be shown.”
ITV said that Amanda’s involvement was of her own personal interest, but Ofcom disagreed. Read more & comment »
TV watchdog Ofcom have rejected a complaint from murderer Jeremy Bamber over his claim that a Sky show has infringed his privacy and treated him unfairly.
The complaint stemmed from Sky’s documentary, Killing Mum And Dad: The Jeremy Bamber Story, but BBC News reports that Ofcom found in favour of Sky, and added that there was no case for the broadcaster to answer.
Bamber was of course convicted of murdering his mother and father – who adopted him – as well as his sister Shelia and her twin sons.
Bamber has always protested his innocence and has always claimed that Shelia committed the murders before killing herself.
The documentary on Sky featured details of the police investigation as well as contributions from family members, acquaintances, and journalists who covered the case. Forensic psychologist Kerry Danes also appeared in the film. Read more & comment »
A recent storyline in Coronation Street caused outrage among some viewers when loan shark Rick Neelan – played by Greg Wood – was seen setting light to a newspaper and putting it through Tina McIntyre’s door.
Rick had of course been pursuing Joe McIntyre for payment of a loan, and decided to put pressure on his daughter Tina. However, when she and boyfriend Jason refused to be intimidated by Rick, he carried out the arson attack. Read more & comment »
OFCOM has cleared BBC presenter Jonathan Ross of making homophobic slurs on his Radio 2 show.
Earlier this year there were 61 complaints after Ross suggested that boys who wanted a Hannah Montana mp3 player were gay and should be put up for adoption. The adoption thing may have taken the concept too far, but the first part of the statement I’d have to agree with.
Read more & comment »
An episode of Coronation street which was shown on Easter Sunday has caused controversy and has seen viewers complain to Ofcom over what was seen by many as an ‘attack’ on Christianity.
The storyline in the episode depicted Ken Barlow saying that the Christian faith targetted “vulnerable people”. Ken also said his grandson Simon’s school was “indoctrinating” him with regard to Christianity and Ken ranted that he would tell Simon “the truth” about religion.
ITV’s message boards and forums have since been inundated by posts from viewers who deemed the episode’s content “completely unacceptable”… Read more & comment »
The recent controversial EastEnders paedophile storyline has been officially cleared of “breaching broadcasting rules” by TV watchdog Ofcom.
The story involving the Jackson family ran from September to December last year and prompted around ninety viewers to complain to Ofcom that the subject matter wasn’t appropriate for a “pre-watershed slot” audience, many of whom, the complaints suggested, could have been young children… Read more & comment »
There’s recently been a good deal of debate about the rights and wrongs of swearing and violence on TV, so we thought we’d take a look at these issues and ask your opinion on the rights and wrongs of it.
Let’s start with the issue of swearing and of course, one for whom swearing is virtually a trademark is Gordon Ramsay, who even has a show entitled, The F Word.
Gordon’s made a niche for himself in the over-populated world of TV chefs because of his constant use of the F word… but is it a bad thing?
Comedian Frank Skinner recently commented to The Sun that TV chefs swear in order to look “more manly” because they do “women’s work”. Obviously, Frank meant this in a tongue-in-cheek way, but perhaps he’s not so far off the mark.
Read more & comment »
OFCOM has issued a report criticising British soaps for showing excessive amounts of violence before the watershed.
OFCOM singled out ITV soap, Emmerdale, in its report after it received numerous complaints about the violence shown surrounding the kidnap of Tom and Sadie King.
According to Ofcom, one of the scenes contained a “significant amount of blood” and a close-up of the character’s injury.
ITV defended the scenes stating:
“Whilst Emmerdale stories do not condone violent acts, it need not and should not shy away from them,” the broadcaster told Ofcom.
It said it had reached an “appropriate balance between dramatic entertainment and offence”.